The Best Camera Lens Rental Place

There are several online camera lens rental companies to choose from. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on BorrowLenses, as that’s what I like best. We’ll also include some other alternatives that you can check out.

In a local shop review I mentioned my experience regarding the cost. To continue the experience, I then rented similar equipment from an online camera rental company. It costs less than my weekend rental and I got it for much longer!

I didn’t get a nice bag with my rental, so I had to use one of my other camera bags. I also chose to buy a new memory card instead of paying extra to rent it.

Renting a storage card is almost more than half buying your own. Even though that requires me to order one separately, I prefer to keep the memory card handy.

If you’re not sure what memory card to get, we have a guide to help you find out.

BorrowLenses, and I suspect most of the other online options, clean and inspect their gear professionally after every rental. So you can rest assured that you will get whatever you order in good working condition.

As with any online option, you will have to consider shipping. This can be both a convenience and a drawback.

Convenient when you’re traveling somewhere and want your gear delivered right there so you don’t have to pack it up yourself. It also saves you traveling to-and-from the local store or the hassle of trying to meet someone to get and return something you borrowed.

The downside of shipping is the added time and shipping costs.

One of the great things about BorrowLenses is that most of the time you get free 2 Day shipping on rentals over $149. So if you plan on getting enough gear, you don’t have to worry about extra costs, and unless you need it the next day, the time frame isn’t a big deal.

Online rental companies carry a large collection of gear, so you’ll have a good selection to choose from. Often, they also have the latest cameras and lenses in stock if you’re interested in giving them a try.

Be aware that you will have to rent new equipment quickly. Companies will generally carry a limited number of items and there may be many requests from other photographers trying to rent the same items.

As I mentioned, BorrowLenses is our favorite, for online rentals. Some of the reasons for this are:

  • Real-Time Rental Search so you know what’s actually available
  • Rental options from 3 to 90 days
  • Return shipping label included
  • Reasonable and cheap pricing
  • Easy rental process
  • Free Order Cancellation for orders up to the day before shipping

Once you are ready to return the equipment, you must pack it up and drop off the box at a UPS store. Although, there are more locations for this than the other rental options we reviewed.

Alternative Online Rental Companies:

If wondering what alternative options you have or if the lens you want isn’t available on your dates, you can try these companies:

These are all solid options. Prices are quite comparable, although sometimes a little more expensive than one another. You need to pay attention to shipping or additional insurance fees as they can make the total price higher.

Best Photography Equipment Conclusion

Online rental companies, such as BorrowLenses, offer the best rental options for most people. Prices are often cheaper and you get longer leases!

If you need something tomorrow, this won’t work. However, if you can plan a little ahead, you can go ahead and order something with BorrowLenses and then cancel the order if you find you don’t need it.

The price options and convenience offered generally outweigh the drawbacks. For me it’s more a question of whether you’re renting or buying, but if you’re going to rent, I highly recommend BorrowLenses.

Pricing Exercise

How much does it cost to rent a camera lens from an online rental company? We compared the prices of three different rental options to show you examples of real-world costs.

As our example, we will take the popular ones Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 and look at the rental rates for the week.

The following details the rental fees from BorrowLenses:

Standard Per Tariff: $76.00 for 3 days [this is the minimum rental period] = $25.33 per day

Rent Fee for a Week: $109.00

Cost Per Day Discount: $15.57

In this example it is definitely the cheapest option. Only exist savings of over 22%. compared to the next lowest option, for the same lens! You do need to account for any insurance coverage you might want to add, though that’s also common among local retailers. Shipping costs are also something that must be considered. In this example we won’t be hitting the 2 Day free shipping threshold but even with shipping costs this is still the lowest priced option.

If you only need the lens for a day then this will be the most expensive option. But anything for two days and it’s still on the lower end of the pricing option.

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